In April 2016, the Workforce Innovation Fund Technical Assistance Team launched a new training course to expand the WIF community’s capacity for implementing and leading change initiatives with an exciting new learning format. 

The Leading Change While Implementing Innovation course is the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration’s first-ever Massive Open Online Course - or “MOOC” for short, and a “mini” version of this new and innovative platform was piloted with ETA’s most innovative leaders – WIF grantees!  A MOOC is an online, highly interactive, self-paced learning platform designed to “flip the classroom” and foster learning that is powered by the learning community itself and guided by (but not controlled by) an instructor. Learning is delivered online, 24x7, so it fits with today’s busy work schedules, and allows learners from all across the country to interact at times that are most convenient for them.

The Leading Change While Implementing Innovations MOOC was created in response to the expressed interest of WIF grantees in strengthening their change management leadership skills and building internal organizational capacity for change. The 5-week course focuses on strategies to build more resilient cultures through active leadership through the use of video-based lectures, online discussions, team and individually based learning assignments, self-check quizzes and more. Learners received digital badges – a cutting edge rewards based system, for active engagement and completed work assignments.

Learners worked together throughout the course for a deep dive into organizational change, covering the factors that make individuals and organizations more (or less) agile during challenging times; an 8-step model to manage and lead change in any organization; and opportunity to assess their own unique level of resiliency during change. The MOOC journey ended with a capstone activity designed to help learners apply what they discover about themselves and their organizations to their grant projects current change initiatives.

With the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act – WIOA in play, ETA understands the need to keep pace with the rapid changes underway in the workforce system with bold, new ways of building staff capacity – especially around how people deal with change. The Leading Change While Implementing Innovations MOOC is timed perfectly to help the WIF Community and ultimately the broader workforce system meet the challenges head-on with a highly interactive, “real-time” change management learning experience that is widely accessible to everyone.